Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Go Barbless in 2012

2012 is here and the world is upon a re-birthing of sorts. The Mayan calendar comes to an end this year and all sorts of folks have different views to what is going to happen. From the complete destruction of earth, to Alien invasion, to higher level of consciousness, and many other crazy ideas have emerged.

I am going to suggest another crazy idea for 2012! Let us as fly fisherman, go to barbless hooks! I have been using barbless for years, I find they are easier to release a fish without using forceps, because the hooks easily slides out. I have also found it is easier to remove from my skin on an errant gone bad cast. I think they some of the barbless hooks hold better then barbed hooks, they are easier to penetrate the fish lips for a good hook up. The barb sometime complicates the hook up and you lose your fish. There are some great barbless hooks on the market from some of the well known names you know and use daily, to some European style models, and this year landing stateside is yet another new barbless brand.

These barbless hooks are called Soldarini and come from Italy and the mind of Sandro Soldarini himself. He is introducing a very well thought out and strong barbless hook. These Hooks went through years of ongoing research, development and testing and is made from some of the best steel on the market. The series of hooks has four different models. The D-Series is a classic nymph hook straight, black finish and in sizes 10-16. The J series is a jig hook(not pictured) black nickle finish in sizes 10-16. The G series is the grub/scud hook, bronze finish in sizes 10-16. The S series is a long shank streamer hook, with a black nickle finish in sizes 8-10.

At first glance of the g or grub/scud hook it should intrigue the tyers here in the U.S. because of the uniformed shape of this particular hook. When looking at it, it appears to be the same shape as most scud hooks that you are used to tying on. Like the TMC 2487, 2457, Dai Riki 135 and the Daiichi 1120 hooks. This hook resembles these hooks with its very uniformed curved shape that will appeal to tyers here in the US. Take a glance below at the continued curved shank. They also have a brownish bronze-patina finish, and hook spear is pointed up much like the Dohiku Grub hook, but the curved shank is what is appealing about this hook and the hook gap looks to be a sure fish holder as well.

Grub/Scud Hooks

Classic Nymph Hook

Streamer Hooks

Monday, December 19, 2011

Various Twists

Just finished up a few orders of flies. Here is some various pics of flies that were twisted up.

Have a Happy Holiday Season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dynamic Nymphing

Once in awhile comes along a good read and here is the newest good read. This book is worth checking out and learning a few new tricks. I think its actual release date is in January. But you can get a copy now for the Holidays from Performance Flies.

Here is book worth looking into.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

M.I.A. missing in action


Sorry I have been missing in action. It has been sometime since my last post. Have had a very busy fall. Wish I could say I have been fishing and tying flies like crazy and taking a ton of pictures, but neither has happened for some time. Hopefully going to get some river time here very soon.

With the kids back in school and my social director keeping us pretty busy, I have found very little time at the bench and on the river. I how ever did escape to Jamaica for a nice relaxing vacation with the wife and several good friends which was very very groovy. Good times. Thought we would deep sea fish while there, but we opted for laying on the beach, swimming in the ocean and being served cocktails all day long. We did manage to get into the hills, up to Negril, out to see some local music and try the local eats. All good, mon!!!

Well now, I am back and eager to get cranking on things again. A few updates for you all.

Hend's flytying materials out of Czech Republic has landed stateside over at Performance Flies. Hend's offers some really good products and one of my favorites that Kevin is stocking is their line of Lacquers. Great stuff. Check it out. He also has Hooks, Body Quills, CDC, Threads and dubbings to offer. Also he has a special going on right now. Spend a $100.00 and get this, Flyfishing and Fly tying, The second, English edition was written by Jaromir Karafiat and Miroslav Machacek, two exceptional fly tiers and anglers from the Czech Republic. The work includes 150+ pages of step-by-step fly tying instructions and photo galleries of Mayfly and Caddis Dry Fly patterns, Czech Nymphs, Wet Flies, Beadhead and Jig Nymphs, Tungsten Thorax Nymphs, Bloodworms, Buzzers (Chironomids), Fry Flies, and Streamers. It is truly one of the finest European fly tying books to emerge in recent years. The set also includes a DVD which provides interesting angling footage as well as tying instruction. Check it out!!!!

Getting back to the dungeon. Since it was a few weeks since I tied some flies, and left for vacation, I finally made it down to the dungeon this weekend to twist up a few bugs, had two styles I was going to do and as I was getting the material set up and ready to go. I had left the hare pelt and the wet winged mallard wings out, from my previous tying session and some little nasty pest got into those and went to town eating them and leaving a neat looking outline of wing. As for the hare pelt, that was pretty much dust. Oh well lesson learned. New pelt on the way for tying and good thing I had back up mallard wings. Just got to remember to put the feathers, pelts, skins, ect... away when done tying.

Ill be tying at the Denver Flyfishing Show this January. As for my flytying demos this winter, there will be a couple, but not many. I hope to spend more time snowboarding and fishing this winter with friends and family.

Anyhow, I am back and working on getting into the fold again of twisting up some bugs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wire Perspective For Performance Flies Branded Wire

Here are the 3 wire spool comparisons, for the Performance Flies Branded Wire post. You can see how big of a difference there is between the 3 different manufactures.

I guess you can make your own judgement, on which is the better value.

Happy Tying!

Sunday's adventure

I was able to make it out with for a fishing day on Sunday. I fished with Jim, Neal and Gin. Thanks gents for a great day and the stream side sushi lunch, was the topper. The fellas met at my house at 6:00 am and we loaded into the Subaru and headed west up I-70. No traffic and made it over Pass and into Winter Park in no time. The fellas had to stop and Mickey D's for a bathroom break and just pulling into the lot at the same time was a good friend of mine Scott and his family. They got run out of their campsite by a few bears, the wild strawberries are in full bloom.

Back on the road, we made it up to the stream, got geared up and hiked in. Only one other car in the parking area, which was a great sign, and only saw a few other people fishing the canyon all day, which was key too. The fishing started of a bit slow, but once I found a rig that was working, well it was pretty much over from that point on. Because I we couldn't do no wrong and lots of big healthy fish were caught.

I managed to catch a couple rainbows, a few little brookies, and bunch of browns. Had a great time. We got off the river about 5:30 and hiked out of the canyon and made our way back to the car and headed home. A few fish pics from the day, sorry they are out of focus, wasn't really keyed in to taking pictures. But managed a few.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Performance Flies Wire

This product update is for the users of Wire.

There is colored wire from UTC and Largatun and maybe a few others... I know there are, but just can't think of them right now. Soo with that in mind...

Let me introduce to you to Performance Flies Branded wire. This wire is perfect for ribbing, brassie's, copper Johns and just about anything else you might use your wire for. This is an extra fine wire perfect for the midge tyer in mind. It is an 0.10mm which can be used on those Deep Poison Tungs by Craven, micro Johns, brassie's, dries, nymphs, double ribbed torpedo tungs by Compton, with out the added bulk. Also gives yer flies that added, but subtle flash, with out going overboard as well. Try weaving a few micro polish woven flies with this wire as well.

The wire comes in a bunch of colors, Black, Gold, Hot Pink, Brown, Silver, Dark Purple, Gun Metal, Leaf Green (Olive) and Violet.

Notice the size of these spools. Each spool should last a life time for the average tyer and go along away for the professional tyer. These spools of wire are 25 grams, which is huge and will make thousands of flies. And get this the cost is $4.95 per spool. Which is a steel in my opinion.

You have heard of the everlasting gobstobber, well this is the everlasting wire.

So with that in mind, check out Performanceflies.com or give Kevin a call and get some wire, tying season is just around the corner.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer stuff part 2

Where to begin. I have fished a bit through out the summer, but it hasn't been super high on my priority list. Have been saving for a trip later this fall with the wife to a little island in the Caribbean. I have fished the Frying Pan, Dream Stream, Yampa, Blue, Cheesy, Joe Wright Res, and 11 mile. Nothing to shocking or out of the ordinary there. I have brought the float tube on a few trips, but have yet to pump it up.

The Frying pan was high and muddy and flowing near a 1,000 cfs when we were there. We hit 11 mile before the high waters hit. Fished the dream at good flows and caught a bunch of fish, the blue, is the blue, Joe Wright was fun, caught a few grayling, which was a nice change of pace. Cheesy is the cheese as well and had a good time as always before the high water set in there. Went up to the blue a couple weeks back and forgot my wading boots, so attempted to fish the higher water in my chaco sandals. I really dont recommend that, unless you want banged up toes!

Took a family vacation up to Steamboat this past week and got out a few times during the week. The first afternoon I tried to fish just before town, but it was just below the main rubber hatch area and I spent more time dodging tubers, which wasn't all that fun, caught a few small cutts, before I decided to bag it.

Then a two days later I headed up towards Stagecoach, but didn't make it quite to it, I found a nice section of a mile and half of river that I had by myself for a while, before I ran into another angler who said he was up near Stagecoach, but it was packed with folks and he came down here, because it was open and no one was there but me. I had a great time in this section, landing and loosing fish after fish after fish, caught browns, cutts, and big bows. I lost a few big bruisers as well. I didnt have my camera, but had my Iphone on me and managed to snap a few shots with that, but I was too afraid that I was going to drop it into the river, so only broke it out a few times. Some of the photos of fish are below.

Then on Friday, we went to town mid day and walked around town and the kids were tired and the family wanted to head back to the condo for some rest and relaxation, so we went back to the truck and I put on my wading boots grabbed the rod and decided to work my way through town and work my way back to the condo. Spent a few good hours on the river, catching fish and dodging tubers. I managed, a grand slam this afternoon, with a cutt, brook, and few browns and bows to boot. Was a great time.

That is about the end of it. Nothing to spectacular, but some good times and well some off times.
Have a couple more trips planned in the coming weeks, but nothing big, just a bit of water time.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Stuff

Decided to take a bit of a vacation from fly tying for the past month and some and get out and enjoy the outdoors. Have made a few ventures out for some fishing. With the super high water flows, haven't hit all the normal spots which was nice, because it got me outside the box of my normal places and got me to venture off the beaten path and hit some new body of waters, that I haven't fished previously or it has been years since I have wet a line in a few of the places.

Anyhow it was good to get out and have some fun. As for the fly tying, finally got the urge to sit down and twist up some bugs. I have spent the last a few nights in the dungeon twisting up various bugs of all sorts. Will get those photoed and posted here in the next week or so. But here is a little photo collection of various stuff. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not Much Going On.

I feel like I have not updated this in quite some time, oh well, not too much going on. Camped and Fished over the Memorial Day Weekend. Nothing to special, fished 11 mile canyon with Jason, and our boys. The fish were hitting a variety of bugs, bwo emergers where the meal ticket for the 2 days we fished. Nothing very big, but then again, I didn't really care, because I was just happy to be out.

Then we were supposed to float the Gunny Gorge, but that got blown out with run off, so we headed to 11 mile canyon for a weekend of drinking and fishing. Fished Friday/Saturday and Sunday for a few hours. Good times were had by all and the fishing was good. Lots of fish, again nothing to big, but a few bruisers were caught.

Then a couple of weeks ago camped way above Ruedi Res and was going to fish the pan, but that was high and dirty with flows above 800 cfs. Not too fun. So we fished the inlet to Ruedi, nothing to special but fun to be out. Have tempted to break out the float tube, but have not gotten around to it. Bummer!

Haven't been down to the dungeon to tie much lately either, finished up with a few custom orders before the memorial holiday and only tied a 1/2 dozen bugs for fishing a few weekends ago, but haven't been back to the bench. Just got an order for some woven bugs, so looks like some tying time to come here soon.

I hope to get out this coming weekend for a few hours, don't know where yet. Maybe break out the tube and hit a still water for kicks and giggles, but again not too much happening. Been busy with Jen and Kids doing a ton of stuff, which has been a blast and nice filler from fishing.

anyhow, hope it goes well with the rest of ya!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Back on the Train

Okay then, last update, was Good Friday, which was, depending on how you look at it, either a good day or a bad day. What is your definition of a good day vs a bad day. Well on this particular day the good wasn't so much the fishing, but I did manage to catch a helluva fish. Bad-was the 4-runner breaking down. Now lets flash forward a few weeks, I still have the 4 runner, which is still not working, and won't be until someone who decides to buy and fix it up them selves. I decided to upgrade the vehicle a bit, while every one is down sizing their cars, I biggie sized mine. LOL. I ended up with the car I have sought for some time. A Toyota Sequoia, now I just have to keep a little journal to remind myself to change the oil every four thousand miles and then some, instead of my previous output of say every 7 to 10 thousand miles. This way Ill keep the Toyota running for some time.

So after being vehicle-less for sometime, I put fishing on the back burner no fly tying and no fishing for a few weeks. Which was good, because when I finally did get back on the river, I had a good day. A range of nice sized fish, small, medium and a few pigs. Good times.

I also found myself getting back to the vise this past week and turning out a few BWO dries and emergers, some green drake dries, some adam's dries, and to wrap it up some pmd cdc paraloops. So hopefully I will be getting around to photographing them this week, before disappearing in the mountains for Memorial day weekend.

Also this week, look for a product update, this one all you midge tiers will like.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Good Friday or was it.

Managed to get out with my buddy Mac on Friday for some fishing. The fishing started off slow for the day, it was cold and windy as heck. First we checked out the Colorado River, but that was too high and muddy and flowing good for my buddy Mac to fish it. So we decided to head over to the Blue. Fished the lower Blue for awhile and nailed this little beauty. First fish of the day. After fishing here we decided to get in the car and warm up and head over and fish in town. Fished for a few hours in town. Caught several fish, but none the size of the first fish and decided to head home. On the way down the mtn, truck started ticking and appeared the transmission/clutch dropped just outside Dumont and was able to coast off the highway onto the exit and pull over. Couldn't get the old 4runner running again so called the tow man to come and pick us up. Got the truck back to Denver and now begins the thoughts of what to do. Fix it or buy a new truck. Ill have to sit on this one awhile. A little bummed about the truck breaking down, but what is one going do. Stuff happens. No reason to get mad. At least I caught a nice fish.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The H Bomb

This pattern has been a pattern that I have tweaked and re-tweaked and continued to alter over the years. It has been one of my most consistent flies that I have ever tied. When I first developed this guy many years ago. It was a just a simple take off the Woolly Bugger with some of my own twist thrown into it for good measure. It has mutated itself over the years, by adding this or that and taking away this or that. I have combined this and that too over the years, just seeing what works and doesn't work. Lucky for me, all the different versions that I have created over the years have caught fish and a lot of them too boot.

In tweaking the pattern over the years, I have always stayed true to a key ingredients of the fly. Those key ingredients are the just a few of the keys to this fly. Streamer hook, Tungsten Cone, Marabou Tail, silli-legs and wire under-body to make it heavy and sink like a rock. I have always kept the profile slim so it will slice through water and gets down fast.

The few ingredients that have changed over the years has been the flash in the tail or along the side of the body. The body material itself, but I have always kept the body shaggy and buggy as I could using dubbing with longer and shaggier fibers to give it action. I have wrapped hackle around the body, like the true wooly, but I always thought wrapping the hackle around the body of this fly took away from the dubbed body and the shagginess that it had. So I have stirred away from the hackle. I have experimented with the thorax and collars too over the years. I have given it different styles of wings from your classic matuka streamer wet wings to jungle cock wing pads to zonker strips.

I also have played with the colors scheme of this pattern as well, but there is one color plate that I keep going back to and tying every year. The choice color that seems to work year round and in tailwaters, still waters and running water is Olive. After my last few outings, I was starting to get low on a few colors of the pattern so it was off to the spooky dungeon man cave of my house to begin twisting them up.

With this batch came a few new twist that I have yet to incorporate into the pattern yet. Instead of diving right into the pattern, I played around with a few ideas I had bouncing around my head for sometime. But after I twisted up the ideas, I didn't care too much of the results and now knew, what I didn't want to put into the pattern. So I was set. With this batch I decided to go with slightly bigger streamer hook then in years past. I also added some new flash into the tail that I had used on the Platte River Apprentice flies, opting for the Rusty Olive Angel hair. This gave it a nice amount of under flash with the marabou over it. I continued with the 3/4 strands of krystal flash on each side of the tail as well.

Next up was the body. Sometime last year I whipped up an Olive blend of dubbing that I had titled Psycho Olive for Bunker Bombs. Looking back it must have been sometime last spring when I was, well replenishing this fly, but never got to using this blend. Twirled it up in a dubbing loop, twisted it on the hook and gave it a quick brush to shag it up.

Put in the silli-legs and now came for the next part. This is where I wanted to give it something new that I have yet to put in it. I mentioned before I have put Zonker strips in it, as well as jungle cock and various Matuka style feathers. So I had to come up with something new for my little fly here. I started digging around the vast amount of materials I had and when it hit me, to go for a double whammy here. I decided to use Black Ice Angel Hair underwing and Mallard for the overwing. The Thorax/Collar blend is a mix of European Hare Skin Le Lievre, Jack Mickievicz Masterblend of Rainbow Warrior Peacock Olive dubbing and a touch of the Psycho Olive Bunker Body Dubbing and a few have bits and pieces of mallard. Yes, I know it seems like a lot of stuff going on here, but it just pops and gives the thorax/collar a neat look to it.